Making business moves these days feels a lot like Ross trying to pivot a couch up the tiny stairwell of his New York apartment building, amiright?? “Business as usual” has been anything but, and it’s left small business owners like you to get creative and open minded about new ways to reach customers. Enter: the pivot. But what’s it actually mean to pivot your business? It means recognizing that your current products or services are no longer meeting the needs of your consumers, so you’re going to switch directions in an attempt to improve your revenue… and survive in today’s marketplace. While there’s been a variety of solutions and fixes to the traditional ways owners have conducted business in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s no doubt that tapping into the many features of social media is a move worth making.
I’m breaking down a few of the ways Instagrammers are using certain features that could be part of the solution to marketing your business… and my tips on how you can put them to work today as your business pivot plan continues to evolve. It’s easier than moving a couch, promise.
- Shop Tab & Instagram Shopping. In 2020, Instagram refreshed it’s navigation tools to include an Instagram Shop tab. Tapping on the shop tab gives followers a better way to find products or connect with brands, all over the world. If you see something you like, you can purchase it seamlessly without ever leaving the app. With so many people shopping online amid the pandemic, businesses have incorporated IG shopping into their profiles and in some cases, it has created a whole new revenue stream. (There are check out fees associated with this if you decide to add this to your business profile.)
- Stickers in Instagram Stories. During the quarantine period of 2020, Instagram released stickers in the stories feature, specifically geared towards small businesses. These stickers have been and continue to be highly used as a way for businesses and regular IG users alike to call out their favorite business with #ShopLocal. There’s even a Food Order sticker businesses can use to promote their affiliation with delivery services like UberEats and Grubhub. Don’t have a brick and mortar kinda business? Raise awareness of your brand by using the #SupportSmallBusiness sticker instead.
- Collaboration. You know social media is all about being social so this one shouldn’t come as a surprise! Use social media to network with like-minded brands, businesses, and people. This can happen a few ways. If you sell a physical product, you can get said product in the hands of a blogger or influencer for them to review and post about it. A super interactive collaboration is to team up with another local business and host a giveaway. For example, a hair stylist and a photographer both join forces promoting each others services by hosting a contest to win a free photography session and haircut/color appointment. Therapists, health coaches, life coaches, and other similar professions have found successful collaborations from guest blogging or getting interviewed on a relevant podcast. (Don’t forget, always be sure to vet the brand you’re collaborating with first.)
- Virtual Events with IG Live or IGTV. Are you a fitness instructor who’s struggling to fill up your classes in 2021? Putting on a free virtual work out is a great way to introduce yourself and your workout style. Not in the fitness world? Real estate agents can host a virtual open house or restaurants can host a virtual cooking class. Be sure to collect your attendees emails addresses for follow up communications or to schedule bookings.
Like I said, some of these ideas might be a little out of the box if you’re still new to the ‘gram. But if you stay where it’s comfortable, you’re likely not going to see any big changes in your business. Not to get all Ross Geller on you again, but seriously, consider trying out one (or all!) of these ways to PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVAAAAT your business this month.